AEP Defends Latest Rate Hike Proposal
Columbus-based American Electric Power is defending its proposal to raise customer rates. The utility says other changes will offset those increases. Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow explains.
AEP is increasing the fixed rate, or so-called customer charge, to ratepayer’s electric bills. It’s about a $10 hike per month. But they’re decreasing the cost of using power.
Consumer and environmental advocates argue this shift takes away the incentive to save power in order to lower electric bills.
AEP Vice President Marc Reitter counters that customers who conserve power will still see a positive impact on their bills.
Reitter: “They should continue to save we feel that this does not prohibit energy efficiency by any means.”
Reitter says this is a redesign of the way power is priced for the customer in order to match what he calls the “true cost of delivery.” And Ohio’s other major utilities are also seeking to increase the fixed charge.